GUYSBOROUGH — At the annual general meeting of the Guysborough Waterfront Development Society (GWDS) on April 17, society chairperson Paul Long outlined the numerous upgrades to the waterfront that are in progress this spring.
For the approximately 20 people who attended, some of the upgrades were obvious as light poured through newly installed windows and doors on the second floor of the Jost Building where the meeting was held.
In addition to windows and doors, siding, decking, new railings, seating, lighting and more items are scheduled for installation before July 1, when the society plans to hold Canada Day celebrations at the site.
Money for these and other upgrades, additions and renovations, comes from funding through Develop Nova Scotia, the Municipality of the District of Guysborough, Nova Scotia Beautification Streetscaping grant and ACOA.
Some funding opportunities require matching funds from the organization, which is why the society has launched a fundraising campaign with a goal of raising $200,000. As of this week, anyone wishing to donate to the GWDS can do so online through searching Guysborough Waterfront on the Canadahelps.org website.
The fundraising effort is meant to go towards the upgrades, as well as work on the wharf and floating docks, while keeping some money to hand for operations and regular maintenance.
Long said a successful fundraising campaign would mean, “We don’t leave ourselves having hotdog sales again to try to keep the doors open.”
The improvements, which include sales kiosks, are expected to bring in more tourists, marine-based tourism and local visitors this summer.
“There’s a collective will to promote marine tourism…and we have to be ready for it. That’s what this [upgrades and renovations] is all about. And not only that…we have to make sure that people who walk the streets here each day, or are driving through, have a good experience down here, as well as local people,” said Long.
The last item on the meeting agenda was the election of officers, which stands as follows: chairperson, Paul Long; vice-chairperson, Bayne Horton; secretary/treasurer, Carmel Avery-MacDonald.
Like all volunteer organizations, the GWDS is always looking for new members. At the end of the meeting, five people in attendance volunteered to join the board of directors – a positive sign for the future of the organization, which was founded just more than 20 years ago.